Reporting from Washington, DC, Aubrey Tuell talks about the ins and outs of the Fiscal Responsibility Act. There was far more to this bill than the media reported. There were some Republican victories, and many areas that we lost. In the end, though, we need to stick to our ideals of reduced taxes and limited government.
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Welcome to the NHC GOP Friday update. I’m Aubrey Tuell. Today’s podcast is sponsored by Cape Fear Boat Brokerage. Whether you are in the market to buy a boat or to sell your own vessel, count on Cape Fear Boat brokerage to provide professional services backed by decades of experience. Call Cape Fear Brokerage today at (910) 242-9174 or check out their website at Capefearbrokerage.com.
And now for today’s update. As you may have heard, the US House of Representatives passed the Fiscal Responsibility Act with a vote of 314 to 117. And the Senate followed suit with a vote of 63 to 36. Senators from North Carolina split the vote, with Senator Thom Tillis voting yes and Senator Ted Budd voting no. Representative Dan Bishop was the only representative from North Carolina who voted against this bill.
Now, let’s dive into the details you might not have heard on mainstream media. 11 amendments were brought forth to the Senate floor, though all failed to achieve the 60 vote threshold needed to amend the Fiscal Responsibility Act and send it back to the House of Representatives. Here are a few of the 11 amendments proposed in the Senate.
Senator Rand Paul proposed to balance the federal budget. This failed 21 to 75. Senator Mike Braun proposed to resend discretionary funding in the event of a debt ceiling crisis. This failed 35 to 62. Senator Roger Marshall proposed measures to secure our border by restarting the construction of the border wall, adding Border Patrol agents, reforming the asylum system, and funding technology to detect drugs coming across the border. This failed 46 to 51. Senator Dan Sullivan proposed to rescind more funds granted to the IRS and provide more funding to defense. This failed 49 to 48. Senator Josh Hawley proposed to mandate additional taxes on goods imported from China until exports and imports to and from China became balanced. This failed 17 to 81. Senator John Kennedy proposed an amendment to make new work requirements permanent. This failed 46 to 51. Senator Ted Budd proposed an amendment to resend Covid 19 funding granted in the American Rescue Plan. This failed 47 to 52. Although these amendments were expected to fail, senators were able to express their concerns with the Fiscal Responsibility Act. Spending caps were of grave concern to many congressional Republicans. Personally, my biggest concern was normalizing pandemic era spending levels and not returning the budget to pre-pandemic levels.
The fiscal budget in 2019 was $22.7 trillion. However, the fiscal budget of 2021 increased to $28 trillion. Some congressional Republicans were unsatisfied with the speed at which our national deficit would be reduced under this bill. $1.4 billion of IRS spending were rescinded in this bill, although it is just a fraction of the 80 billion Joe Biden achieved. The bill also rescinds $28 billion in unspent Covid 19 funding, which was allocated to various governmental agencies, including funding brought forth in the American Rescue Plan for testing, vaccines and other vaccine efforts. Work requirements were a top discussion, however, the bill does not include Medicaid work requirements. It does include requirements for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.
While there were many Republican wins in this bill, the Fiscal Responsibility Act was a true bipartisan compromise. Although, in my personal opinion, we as Republicans should have fought harder and achieved a fiscal plan which aligns with pre-pandemic spending levels. As Republicans, we must stand strong in the pillars of our party. We must aim to cut taxes and reduce the size of the federal government and to balance the budget and be fiscally responsible. For the NHC GOP. I’m party secretary Aubrey Tuell. Thank you for listening.